An automobile, or motor car, is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own engine and has seating for one to seven people. Its engine uses a type of fuel to burn, usually petrol (or gasoline) or diesel, and it drives the wheels through an automatic transmission system. The branches of engineering which deal with the manufacture and technologies of automobiles are known as Automobile Engineering.
The automobile was invented in the early 20th century, when the middle class was growing in the United States and more people could afford to buy a car. This allowed them to travel between cities, and to work outside the home. As a result, it changed American society in many ways. People now had more leisure time and freedom to do things such as go to movies or travel. Also, the automobile made it easier for women to be self-sufficient and go out without relying on men.
The modern automobile is much faster and more convenient than other forms of transport like bicycles or buses, and can carry more passengers. It can also drive in places that are difficult for other wheeled vehicles due to bad roads or rough terrain. However, if driven incorrectly an automobile can cause serious injury or death. Because of this, most modern cars have a variety of safety systems designed to prevent accidents and protect occupants from injury. These include seatbelts, airbags, antilock brakes, stability control, and the ability to monitor tire pressure.